Why Does Roofing Underlayment Matter?

What Is Underlayment?

Roofing underlayment is a crucial component of the roofing system, serving as a protective secondary barrier beneath the main roofing material. It's typically a sheet of water-resistant material that's installed directly onto your roof deck.

Common types of roofing underlayment include the following:

  • Asphalt-Saturated Felt Underlayment: Also known as felt paper or tar paper, this traditional underlayment material is soaked in asphalt for water resistance.
  • Rubberized Asphalt Underlayment: This premium underlayment typically features higher water resistance and durability, often containing a sticky backside for better adhesion to the roof decking.
  • Synthetic Underlayment: Made of polypropylene or polyester, synthetic underlayment is lighter and stronger than felt, with superior resistance to fungal growth and UV degradation.
  • Non-Bitumen Synthetic Underlayment: This type offers high water resistance and durability but without any asphalt, making it a greener choice.

Its primary role is to prevent water infiltration caused by wind-driven rain or ice damming, which can lead to significant damage. Additionally, it provides an extra layer of protection against harsh weather conditions, improving your roof's overall durability and longevity.

As a homeowner, you may not often think about the components that make up your roof. However, understanding the importance of roofing underlayment can save you from costly repairs and ensure the longevity of your roof.

Keep reading to learn more.

Roofing Underlayment & Moisture Protection

Moisture, indeed, poses a significant threat to the structural integrity of your roof. Over time, even minor leaks can result in substantial damages such as rot, mold, and even structural weakening. Acting as a physical barrier, your underlayment blocks water that may seep beneath the shingles or tiles due to rainfall or melting snow.

Even in the occurrence of ice damming, where ice melts and refreezes at the edge of your roof, underlayment prevents the water from penetrating and damaging your roof structure. Ultimately, the presence of a reliable and durable underlayment is vital in ensuring that your home remains safe and dry in all weather conditions.

Signs that water or moisture may have infiltrated your roof include:

  • Stains on interior ceilings and walls
  • Musty odors or signs of mold and mildew
  • Appearance of moss or algae
  • Cracked or missing shingles
  • Dripping or water sounds during a rainstorm
  • Granules in your roof drainage system
  • Sagging areas on the roof
  • Increased energy bills

If you notice any of these signs, your underlayment may be compromised. Reach out to Lyons Roofing to schedule a repair inspection.

Can Underlayment Promote Energy Efficiency?

Yes, roofing underlayment can indeed promote energy efficiency in your home. Acting as a thermal barrier, underlayment reduces heat transfer, thereby maintaining a cooler indoor environment during sweltering summers, particularly in regions like Phoenix. This thermal regulation reduces the extensive use of cooling devices such as air conditioners or fans, reducing overall energy consumption and lowering energy bills.

What About Storm Damage?

Absolutely, roofing underlayment plays a vital role in protecting your roof from storm damage caused by hail, heavy rains, or high winds. When the primary roofing material is compromised, such as the detachment of shingles due to high winds or damage from hail, the underlayment can prevent water from these storms from infiltrating the roof deck.

This function helps prevent the roof deck's wood from rotting and the home’s interior from suffering water damage. Moreover, certain types of underlayment, like rubberized asphalt, provide better adhesion to the roof decking, which can help resist wind uplift during storms.

So, while it might be hidden, the underlayment is essential in weatherproofing your home. Have more questions about roofing underlayment or need to schedule a roofing inspection? Contact Lyons Roofing online to schedule an appointment with one of our roofing experts.